Wood & Iron – Each Piece Unique
I surprised myself today by looking back at my LinkedIn recommendations from the days I toiled away in corporate life and what I call my ‘lost’ time, from leaving corporate and starting upon my current and beloved new career of being a blacksmith. There are some wonderful comments on Linkedin, using words such as dynamic, driven, infectious personality, force of positivity, dynamo, constructive, forward thinking, knowledgeable, professional, inspirational! Gosh makes me sound like some kind of wonder woman!! But I can assure you, I have tried to spin round in the telephone box to see if my costume changes and it most certainly doesn’t!! I still seem to end up in my torn jeans (burnt at the bottom, I’ll explain one day), steel toe capped boots and ripped jumper..looking nothing like the glamorous spectacle of wonder woman!
But what has stayed with me is the driving force of making my business a success. Networking and inspiring others to be successful. Continuously thinking about how I develop my business to keep up with new trends, whilst also keeping that traditional blacksmith feel that inspires me to go and light my forge and create something new.
I’ve come along way in the last 2 years, from starting on a shoestring, setting up my workshop, moving my workshop and moving home to create a situation where I now have a growing display area as well as my workshop and repeat customers coming to see me on a regular basis. Regular advertising and being out & about at events means I’m getting known in my home town of Cirencester, (for good reasons!) and the surrounding area.
My newsletter gets read by people in Canada, USA, Spain and New Zealand. I am attracting more and more overseas twitter followers and enquiries. Looks like I’ll have to get my act together for international shipping next!
I have also diversified to keep up with enquiries, so buying in some ready made items, but giving them that little bit of extra ‘Lizzie’ to make them unique. This could include repairing and renovating old chests and garden furniture, to buying in hooks for coat racks.
Next year is going to be very exciting! I will be focusing more on large garden sculptures, buying in some new equipment and going more national throughout the UK. I have already bagged some business from the National Trust and hope to build on this.And being a little different with some of the items I make, expand to create a range of new innovative pieces of wrought iron.
I am also looking to combine some other items with my iron, such as the cattle hides, a by product of beef production, to make some great looking furniture!
Come & visit me at my forge in Cirencester, book a day to forge with me, or have a look at my website to get ideas, place an order or a commission. Thanks Lizzie
http://www.woodandiron.co.uk / email@example.com / 07501 495879